When bad things, mean things, happen to you, how do you process them? How do you interpret events that are less than desirable?
Well, consider this: Genesis 37 has one of the saddest stories in the Bible. It is a story of prophetic import (v. 7, 9). It is a story of favoritism (v. 3) and jealousy (v. 11). It is a story of absolute heartbreak (v. 34, 35) and quiet hidden guilt (42:21).
The sons of Israel, sell their own brother as a slave (v. 26-28) to prevent his dreams from coming true (v. 20). Now 20 years have gone by. Joseph has been a slave and a prisoner. But God was with Joseph (39:2, 5, 21) He has now risen to Prime Minister of Egypt. His brothers come down to Egypt to purchase food for their families. Joseph sees with his own eyes the fulfillment of the dreams (predicted 37:7, 9; fulfilled 43:26, 28, 44:14; 50:18). You see, “God’s purposes know no haste and no delay” (DA 32.1). It doesn’t matter how long it takes, God’s prophetic word will be fulfilled!
So here is God’s prophetic word to us. “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). Jospeh didn’t know Paul, nor had he ever read the book of Romans. But he did know that same God! And Jospeh chose to put a divine interpretation on the evil actions of his brothers some 20 years earlier. It was true, they were jealous, it was true they were hard hearted, it was true they had evil intent, but three times Jospeh said, “God sent me” here (Gen 45:5, 7, 8) to be a blessing to you, “to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
So, when bad things happen are we going to see them through the eyes of outward circumstance, or are we going to cheerfully give God the opportunity to create a new divine reality? The choice is ours.